After testing its medium- and long-range missiles, and sending satellites KMS-3-2 and KMS-4 into orbit, North Korea has now set its sights on the moon.
North Korean space officials told the Associated Press that their government has been working on a five-year plan to put more advanced satellites into space, as well as have a successful lunar landing in 10 years.
Even after the United Nations upped sanctions on North Korea after its missile tests, a senior official at the North Korean space organization said that sanctioning the country would not stop their progress in putting their flag on the moon.
Hyon Kwan II, director of the scientific research department of North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration told AP journalists, “Even though the U.S. and its allies try to block our space development, our aerospace scientist will conquer space and definitely plant the flag of the DPRK on the moon.”
Hyon also mentioned that there would be an expansion in aerospace programs in many North Korean universities to train future rocket scientists.
While this endeavor may seem impossible, experts say a moon mission by North Korea is ambitious but conceivable.
It would be possible for Korea to create the technology necessary to land an unmanned lunar vehicle on the moon essentially planting their flag on the moon as so many other countries have done.
Hyon said the new satellites that would be placed into orbit would successfully transmit Earth images back to North Korea. The long-term goals would be to provide data for crops and forestry as well as improve communication between satellites.
North Korea hopes to eventually send a manned space craft into space, complete a successful moon flight and exploration and ultimately, explore the further reaches of space.
Markus Schiller, a German analyst and an expert on North Korean missiles and rockets, said, “Judging from what I’ve seen so far with their space program, it will take North Korea about a decade or more to get to lunar orbit at best.”
Hyon has also emphasized that these missions will not be in any way associated with military plans.
“There is no need for our state to use the space program for ballistic missile development,” he said, as it has already developed long-range missiles.